MARCH 2015
The UrbanFUTURE C-Bots compete at Regionals

I have spoken to many of you personally about the UrbanFUTURE high school program, which is an initiative begun in 2013 to follow our 8th grade students as they leave Fanning and Busch Middle Schools to begin their high school journey.  We are beginning to see the blossoming of our effort, as the UF rookie Robotics Team at Carnahan High School placed 17th out of 43 teams at last week's regional competition at Chaifetz Arena - an amazing accomplishment! Also, of note, we have one senior participating in the dual-enrollment program at Ranken Technical College and a Super Mileage Challenge Team is emerging at the Clyde C. Miller Career Academy High School. Our High School Career Manager, Anthony Lemons, is working in earnest with over 100 UF students tracking their interests and providing them with career and educational development opportunities from our growing list of Real World Business Partners. As word spreads amongst high school students about UrbanFUTURE's presence, Anthony is finding himself energized and busy! View photos of all of the February happenings in middle and high school programming here.


As a way to embolden our 8th graders as they begin their high school journey and to reaffirm our current 9th grader's freshman experience, we are launching the UrbanFUTURE Summer Leadership Academy. It will take place at the UF central office allowing easy access for students coming from both the north and south sides of the city. The program will consist of two, 3-week sessions in June and July and is open to all current 8th and 9th grade UF students. Both sessions will focus on tutoring in Communication Arts and Math, leadership and character formationCollege scholarship and financial aid awareness, job search training and resume writing as well as incorporating field trips to local businesses and corporations. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to create an even deeper connection with our students during a very important transitional period as they prepare themselves to join tomorrow's St. Louis workforce.

Guests enjoy the March Magic Experience
We recently celebrated the 5th Annual UrbanFUTURE March Magic Experience
on Tuesday, March 17th at the Missouri Athletic Club Downtown. We had a strong turn out of UF supporters and NCAA college basketball fans looking for the opportunity to bid on their teams and to win incredible prizes. A good time was had by all! Thank you to all those who spent their St. Patrick's Day with us! Your support allows us to continue preparing tomorrow's workforce. You have made a difference!

 Click here to see all the pics of the event. 

Thank you again for your continued support of UrbanFUTURE. With your help, we will enrich, educate and enliven our urban youth, and lead them on a path to a career in tomorrow's workforce.


Frank Van Bree

Our students were proud of their culinary achievements as they played Iron Chef

March started off on a high note with anIron Chef Competition in our DiscoveryLab cooking class! Students were given specific ingredients and had to whip up several courses in a short period of time. Our guest judges (Volunteer Felicia Finley, nutrition expert Megan Tinley, student Jai Maynor, and Fanning's own Mr. Heisse) were on hand to taste and score the dishes. We had a blast and learned a few new, healthy recipes along the way. Another exciting development during DiscoveryLab is that our star volunteers from the Saint Louis University Micah Program are now teaching an art class! Looking forward to seeing the wonderful works that will surely come out of their efforts.

This month we also welcomed many fantastic Career Speakers, including a group of Physical Therapy students also from Saint Louis University who spoke about the importance of strength training, aerobic exercise and stretching. They also did a demo using some important tools of the trade. Thank you volunteers for a great presentation! John Risberg a lawyer at Martiz, also stopped by Fanning to talk about his profession. He had students  practice mediation by assigning students roles in a  mock trial. We certainly have some future lawyers in the group! Students in  Explore! Careers also focused on resume writing this month, and learned a lot about how to present themselves when applying for a job. Valuable lessons all around!

Eighth grader Diamond Calhoun
Eighth grader Diamond Calhoun is one of our brightest stars at Fanning Middle School!

Diamond loves Science, and her favorite memory from UrbanFUTURE this year was the Minority Scientist Showcase at the Saint Louis Science Center back in December. She loved walking around an checking out all of the experiments, especially the plant exhibits.

Diamond's mentor is Joanne Giljim, and the two have been together since last year. Joanne and Diamond love to read together during their weekly sessions. Diamond's career goal is to be a Pre-School Teacher, and we know she will continue to shine bright in the future!

If you would like more information about mentoring or tutoring students, contact Jennifer Davies at
Career speaker Robert White of Catholic Charities

As the weather warms up, we have been able to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. A special welcome to Gateway Greening, who is now teaching a weekly gardening class to our students! The class is incredibly excited to start planting their garden after they prepare the soil and plan out their plots! New DiscoveryLab classes in Chess, Art, "Future Engineers of America" and Archeology are in full swing and keeping our UrbanFUTURE kids engaged. Our crew of mentors from RehabCare continue to strengthen their relationships with their students, through one-on-one exercises, games, as well as reading and working on homework together. Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers, new and old!

Special guest Career Speaker Robert White visited us this month as well, and spoke about his position as Job Readiness Coordinator at Catholic Charities. He shared with us some great insights on applying for an interviewing for jobs. We also welcomed a familiar face back to UrbanFUTURE, Fanning Middle School graduate Aquila Daniels! Ms. Daniels recently graduated from nursing school, and returned to talk about her career as a practical nurse and made sure to touch on taking advantage of the incredible opportunities provided through school and UrbanFUTURE. We love it when a former student returns to volunteer with us, thus completing the cycle of Restoration that we strive for at UrbanFUTURE!

Marty drums with UF student Michael
Marty Spikener, a volunteer who teaches 
Discovery Lab classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, has been a great support as our students are advancing in music! As a drum teacher, Marty has the students work independently practicing rhythms and learning correct form for holding drum sticks. 

Marty goes above and beyond to help his students learn! He even made sure that he came to the ThurtenE "Meet the Charity" event to help spread the word about UrbanFUTURE and to work with students.

If you would like more information on volunteering with UrbanFUTURE, contact

7th grader Jonel Olar
Meet Jonel Olar

Jonel Olar, 7th grader at Busch Middle, wants to be a chemical engineer when he grows up! Jonel loves math and science, and is a star member of the UF First Lego Robotics Team. Currently, the team is building a robot that will work underwater!  In addition to Robotics, he also loves the Discovery Lab classes Science and Sound, and Music

Back in February, Jonel performed "Stand by Me" on the recorder with his Berklee City Music Class at Rebel Rock, a "battle of the bands" held at Priory. Jonel is a great leader, is always helpful, and we are so happy to have him as part of the UrbanFUTURE program!

Ranken Shadow-a-Tech
Get a taste of campus life and find out if you have what it takes to succeed at Ranken Technical College!  Become a student for a day at Ranken's Shadow-a-Tech event. As a Shadow-a-Tech participant, you can spend the night in the dorms, spend the day on campus, attend classes with a current Ranken student and learn more about Ranken programs, visit Ranken's website to sign up!

SEMO Field Trip

Despite the cold and rain, we had a great trip on March 26th to Southeastern Missouri State University! Our group of UF High Schoolers from Carnahan toured campus, checked out the dorms and learned more about what kind of programs SEMO offers. We already have 4 Carnahan students that have been accepted to SEMO, and they were especially excited to make the trip! Thanks to SEMO for hosting our students on this exciting trip.


UrbanFUTURE High School Student Spotlight 
UrbanFUTURE freshman Joseph

We were thrilled to run into 9th grader Joseph at Vashon High School this month! He was UF student at Fanning Middle School, and was just as happy as we were to reconnect. He loved participating in UF Robotics last year, and aspires to be a Computer Engineer! Great to see you Joseph, looking forward to seeing you on the regular again.

UrbanFUTURE High School Website
Visit for up to date information on all the happenings in our High School Program. Also follow us on Facebook and stay connected! 

UrbanFUTURE High School Career Manager,
Anthony Lemons, can be reached at or 314-309-2525.


The ThurtenE Carnival at Washington University
UrbanFUTURE has the privilege of being this year's ThurtenE Carnival partner! ThurtenE Carnival is the oldest and largest student-run carnival in the nation, and showcases the uniqueness, creativity and hard work of the student body at Washington University. Come for food, games, rides and live performances! General admission is free, and ride and special performance tickets are available for purchase on site. The Carnival will be held on the weekend of April 17th - April 19th, 2015. More info is available here. Come out and join in on the fun!

Parent Coffees
Meet UrbanFUTURE Staff, learn more specifics about programming, meet other parents and engage in meaningful dialogue! Refreshments provided. Upcoming Parent Coffees include:

Busch Middle School
Monday, April 20th @ 6:00 PM 
Tuesday, April 21 @ 10:00 AM

Fanning Middle School
Monday, April 13th @ 6PM

Mentor Training
Gather with UrbanFUTURE Staff and Mentors from both middle schools and all our high schools to discuss effective mentoring methods, techniques for connecting with your mentee, and give us feedback on what we could be doing better! The next Mentor Training is open to ALL mentors, and will be on April 1st at Busch Middle School.


1. Career Connector or Career Speaker
Allow UrbanFUTURE students to come to your workplace for a field trip, job shadow or internship. Or, visit one of our middle schools and speak to the class about your personal career path. You can also volunteer to teach a class to our students!
2. Mentor
Volunteer just one hour a week at our middle schools as a mentor, with a focus on literacy, goal setting and character development. Or, mentor a high school student and focus on career development. 

3. Tutor
Help UrbanFUTURE students excel in school by tutoring kids in either Communication Arts or Math. All students benefit from the personal attention and extra help.
4. Become an UrbanCHAMPION
Invest in our urban students and help level the playing field for underexposed kids. It costs $3,000 per year for us to provide the full UrbanFUTURE experience to each student. Please make a monetary tax deductible donation via our secure website - YOP tax credits are available!

2823 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63103